FM: Banks must ensure flow of Credit to Every Sector of Industry; Bankers told to be Sympathetic and have Humane Approach towards Genuine Defaulters

The Union Finance Minister Shri P. Chidambaram said that banks must ensure flow of credit to every sector of industry. He said that bankers have been told to be sympathetic and have humane approach towards genuine defaulters. He said that this is time for hand holding of borrowers who are facing difficulties, especially industry. He said that genuine defaulters and wilful defaulters need to be dealt with separately. We have to be strict with wilful defaulters, he added. The Finance Minister was speaking at the Third Parliamentary Consultative Committee Meeting of his Ministry here today. The subject matter for the discussion of the today’s meeting was “NPAs in Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and measures taken to contain them.”

The Finance Minister said that NPAs are critically dependent on the performance of the economy. He said that if the economy is growing at 8 to 9 percent p.a. then the NPAs would be low. He said that NPAs is at 3.84 percent at the end of March 2013 while it was 2.32 percent in March, 2011. He gave details of sectoral NPAs including agriculture sector at 5.46%, MSME sector at 5.82%, Corporate Sector at 3.44%, retail loans at 2.37%, and real estate at 1.92% among others.

The Finance Minister said that banks need capitalization to meet their enhanced lendings, which is increasing every year. He said that this year Government has made provisions of Rs. 14,000 crore for bank recapitalization. He said that normally banks make their own arrangements to meet their capital requirements both through their own resources such as their profit etc. and the market. The Finance Minister said that all our Public Sector Banks (PSBs) are following Basel III norms and, in fact, our capital and provisioning requirements are stricter than Basel III norms.

Earlier, participating in the discussion, members of the Consultative Committee gave various suggestions with regard to recovery from wilful/genuine defaulters and how to deal with different NPA cases. Some members raised the issue of softer approach by the bankers towards genuine defaulters such as farmers and promoters of MSMEs among others as they are vulnerable to external factors which are beyond their control. Some members raised the issue of misuse of CDR, down grading of banks, if any, by rating agencies due to NPAs or other factors, overall analysis of NPAs to find out who are genuine or wilful defaulters and to take personal guarantees from industrialists if they have assets etc among others.

The meeting was attended among others by both the Ministers of State for Finance Shri Namo Narain Meena and Shri Jesudasu Seelam; Finance Secretary, Shri R.S. Gujral, Revenue Secretary, Shri Sumit Bose, Secretary, Financial Services, Shri Rajiv Takru, Secretary, Disinvestment, Shri Ravi Mathur along with the senior officers of Ministry of Finance. Among the Members of Consultative Committee Shri Anto P. Antony, Smt. Rajkumari Ratna Singh, Shri S.P.Y. Reddy, Prof. Saugata Roy, Shri Suresh C. Angadi and Shri W. Bhausaheb Rajaram, all Members of Lok Sabha; Shri Ajay Sancheti, Shri N.K. Singh, Shri Rajkumar Dhoot, Shri Shantaram Naik, Shri Ishwarlal Jain and Shri Murli S. Deora (Permanent Special Invitee), all Members of Rajya Sabha attended the aforesaid Consultative Committee Meeting.

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